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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Kelvin Scale

Americans in everyday life use the customary units inherited from Europe. Scientists in the United States and most countries of the world use the metric system.

The metric system is more practical and easier to use. For example, there are 100 centimeters to a meter and 1000 meters to a kilometer. To divide by ten or a multiple of ten is easier to divide by and convert. There are 12 inches to a foot, 3 feet to a yard, 5280 feet to a mile. Moving from feet to miles is cumbersome.

Metric measurement enables very large and very small objects to be measured.

Kelvin is a unit to measure temperature. 0 degrees Celsius is 273.16 units Kelvin.

0 degrees Celsius is equal to 32 degrees Fahrenheit which is freezing point. Celsius is the metric measurement of temperature. 100 degrees Celsius is the boiling point of water. 212 degrees Fahrenheit is the boiling point of water.

Celsius's use of negative numbers to denote temperatures below freezing made it difficult to measure gases and did not work with the Gas Law equations.

Scientist's needed a variation of Celsius to describe absolute zero. Absolute zero is the temperature at which all matter ceases movement. Scientist have actually reduced the temperature to below Absolute Zero. This article discusses their findings.

Depending on what is being described, Celsius and Kelvin are used by scientists. For meteorology and everyday usage, Kelvin temperatures are too cumbersome and Celsius is desired.

0 Kelvin = 273.16 degrees Celsius = 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. Note that Kelvin does not use the term degree like Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Room temperature is 293 Kelvin, 20 degrees Celsius, 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the United States, it is more of a point of view change in that thinking in metric would not be a hard shift. The writer of this blog views that we have not made the total change due to three factors. One is cost in redoing roadsides and the myriad ways we use measurement. Two is the fact that many people feel like metrics is difficult and do not want to learn a new system. Three is that Americans don't like to told what to do and/or like some tradition.

Some articles on why the United States has not changed over.

Banner Peak across Island Pass Lake snow
Banner Peak across from icy island Pass lake in Sierra Nevada United States photo by David Richardson

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ann - Kelvin and Celsius - our maths is not good at the best of times ... but that's life seemingly! Interestingly my uncle told me that the Imperial system is better - regretfully I can't ask him why - I hope I have to wait a few decades yet!?

    I did find this site though ...
    should you be interested!!

    Cheers I'm off now to my legendary beasts ...


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